Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up

Progressive Bihar - Finally the sleeping giant is waking up
Progressive Bihar - Come support it's growth path.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nitish Kumar - Politician of Year - CNN-IBN Poll

Prior to November 2005, Bihar was ruled by the same party and same Chief Minister for 15 years. During this 15 years there was no development in Bihar. Not only that, all developments were reversed and there was negative development in the state. This now appears to have changed.

With Nitish Kumar at the helm, things have started turning around. While nothing spectacular or dramatic is being done by the low profile Chief Minister, he has actually managed to turn around a state which many believed was unrecoverable. It appears now that Bihar can actually progress and I am proud that Nitish Kumar has been selected the "Politician of the Year 2008" by the CNN-IBN

Some of the good work done was highlighted in an article on hindustan times

Some more stories of the turn around

Email to the Chief Minister of Bihar - Nitish Kumar

Dear Chief Minister,
Congratulations on becoming the CNN-IBN Politician of the year 2008. From the time you have taken over more and more people have confidence that situation is improving in the state. People feel that the atmosphere is becoming better for trade and commerce even though there is a long way to go.

However Bihar is still has the lowest literacy, one of the highest crime rate and the manifestation of a very high level of class and caste system. For Bihar to improve it is important that the literacy rate of people has to grow and very quickly. It is common knowledge that the leaders in the past have purposefully not worked towards improving the literacy rate of the state to keep ruling the state. By virtue of this Bihar lacks in many areas and infact ranks last or amongst the last 5 states in most of the areas of importance. As a Bihari it pains me to see people sarcastically make jokes of Bihar (The recent example was the Goa Chief Minister talking about beggars in relation to the proposed train from Patna to Goa). As a Bihari I feel very sad when people look down upon Bihar (cases on MNS in Maharashtra, people talking ill about Bihar and Biharis in general). What can be more painful that this: The last time I visited my village in Bihar, all my neighbours warned me that since people know about us in the surrounding areas, there was a high probability that my family would be kidnapped. I had to return back from that place, on strong suggestions of the people, in less than 24 hours of staying there. I could not stay for more than 24 hours in my own house. I believe things are getting better now and I want to see Bihar becoming a very prosperous state.

Bihar on its own has a lot of advantages which can be put to good use it worked upon well. Bihar has also not participated in the economic boom that has taken place in the last few years where 2nd tier and 3rd tier cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bhuvaneshwar, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Vishakhapatnam, Cochin, Coimbatore , etc have grown. A lot of FDI has come into India but none or hardly a miniscule amount reached Bihar. I was pleasant surprised when 2 years back you had actually gone to the Indo – Mauritium forum and asked people to invest in India. However investments have not flown into Bihar and the main reasons are lack of security and a lot of illiteracy. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying.

We have a lot of hopes on you Mr. Chief Minister and we are looking forward to you guiding Bihar into becoming one of the most prosperous states in India. If Narendra Modi can do it, so can you. I and many like me have this confidence on you. As a person outside the bureaucracy and politics of the state I see many areas which should be simultaneously focused to be able to change Bihar into a prosperous state

1. Security - It is highly important to improve the security in the state, reduce the crime rate and take strong stands against the organized and unorganized crime (including criminals led by politicians)

2. Literacy - Focus on improving the Literacy rate in the country

3. Employment - Increase employment opportunities for people in Bihar so that lesser people are attracted towards crime. While seeing the statistics in “India 2008 – A Reference Manual”, one point is very evident that in the last 10 years or so Bihar has got or asked for very little central support for improvement in state infrastructure , industry , etc. Whereas Bihar has got 516 crores grant till last year, Gujarat has got 4776 crores, Karnataka - 2845, MP - 2467 and Maharashtra 2000 crores.

4. Corruption – Bihar has a very high corruption level. Infact it is rated as the most corrupt state in India. This needs to change. Unless very strong and bold steps are taken corruption will not reduce. The living standards of common people will not improve and the poor will become poorer.

5. Tourism – Bihar has fabulous places which can be converted into great tourism attraction. Places like Nalanda University, Bodh Gaya, Pawapuri temple, Rajgir, Babadham, etc can be really used to attract tourists to the state. I feel this is an area where Bihar can attract very good revenue and the government should focus on it. There are many critical things required to make tourism a success

a. Infrastructure – For improving investments in Bihar and tourism we require good infrastructure of roads rails etc. To improve tourism it is important to connect all the tourism places with all the airports and major railway stations by good roads. Good hotels and restaurants have to be built on these roads on the way to the tourism places and near the places of tourism. Good parking infrastructure is required. The roads should be multi lane, broad and have trees planted on both sides.
b. Maintenance – Good maintenance and cleanliness of the sites are required. Besides that the roads leading to these tourism places should also be clean and well maintained.
c. Security – Good security is required in these tourist places and on the way to them
d. Connectivity – Good connectivity by Public transport from the train stations and airports
e. Brand Management – Good Brand Management of Bihar – Yes this is the least focused area but probably the most important in generating the interest. I am not talking about just advertising on TV, magazines etc, but actually full fledged Brand management of Bihar has to be done. Bihar has to be treated as a product and marketed to the world. Thus a Brand management of Bihar as a product is required

6. Industry – Creating more industry in Bihar to increase job opportunities is a must. If there are more jobs, lesser people will tend towards crime and hence I am re-iterating this. Create an investment climate , SEZs, etc. Attract investments into the state. Create cities of excellence. When a neighbouring state like Orissa can do it, so can Bihar.

a. Brand Management of Bihar is also critical in inviting investments into Bihar. You should consider a strong brand management consultant (even of international repute), specializing in brand building of cities and states. This will really help attract the investment in Bihar. While more than 30,000 crores have been or are being invested in Infrastructure in India, hardly any is being invested in Bihar. We need to attract this money to come to Bihar.

b. Using Internet (Online Brand marketing) for brand management of Bihar is also a very good tool that can give an advantage to Bihar. However there is no focus on using Internet to attract investments in Bihar. Internet might not be used by a lot of people in Bihar but Internet is used by most people, who have money to invest, to research places for investment. Hence it’s important to have a dynamic official website of Bihar which talks about the changes, improvements and projects being taken up in Bihar. The current official website is very static and hardly updated. However the home page talks more of government etc (including you and other on the Home page). I think that should be a special link on the home page which talks about all of these. The home page should talk about improvements project opportunities etc in Bihar. The home page and related linked pages should be used to attract more and more people to the website for a brand improvement.

c. OBAMA and ADVANI – Both have used the online marketing media to their advantage. Obama has done a much better job and his website should give an idea of what should be there. Employ a good online brand marketing firm. Create a Brand for Bihar which is different from what Bihar is known today.

7. Investment – Attract investments at all forums. Create incentives for large industrial houses to create industry in Bihar.

I know I have written a very long email and many of these things might just be repetitions. However I have written this because I strongly feel for Bihar and I thought I could drive some attention back to some of the key areas of focus. I have done this because me and many like me have great faith on you and your leadership. We see you as the person who can drive this change and create a dynamic, progressive and flourishing Bihar.

Thank you

Best Regards


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